edited December 1969 in Faith Issues
can the church excommunicate a minor and only the pope can excommunicate right?


  • [quote author=BeshBoy93 link=topic=10591.msg129026#msg129026 date=1296441196]
    can the church excommunicate a minor and only the pope can excommunicate right?

    If i am not mistaken......I think you need atleast 3 bishops testimony to excommunicate one person. in the Pope rank, the father of the fathers, the patriarch, the head bishop, equals 3 bishops rank.

    about a minor's excommunication, i wonder about that.
    excommunication is not something that is handled that easily. also it's not frequent at all. yes we make a lot of jokes about but that doen't mean its reality. 
  • I think that there should be excommunication boards.  One would be able to nominate a person for excommunication.  The board would vote on it, send it to the bishop of the diocese, and out they go.

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  • Spread heresies.
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  • [quote author=DimyanCoptic link=topic=10591.msg129118#msg129118 date=1296504694]
    & that cant be forgiven?

    If the person is unrepentant then they have no choice but to excommunicate as in the case of Arius or Nestorious. You would have to be pretty bad to get excommunicated, specifically you would have to be a heretic.
  • There are quite a few serious matters that the Church has considered require excommunication. This should not be seen as a punishment, but as offering a means of repentance for the one who has sinned, and the preservation of the Church from sin and error.

    At the ancient council of Laodicia in about 365 AD, the Church determined several matters which were so serious that they required excommunication. As examples, because similar things were determined at other Church councils, they said...

    Canon IX. The members of the Church are not allowed to meet in the cemeteries, nor attend the so-called martyries of any of the heretics, for prayer or service; but such as so do, if they be communicants, shall be excommunicated for a time; but if they repent and confess that they have sinned they shall be received.

    Canon XXIX, Christians must not judaize by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on that day, rather honouring the Lord’s Day; and, if they can, resting then as Christians.  But if any shall be found to be judaizers, let them be anathema from Christ.

    Canon XXXIII. No one shall join in prayers with heretics or schismatics.

    Canon XXXIV. No Christian shall forsake the martyrs of Christ, and turn to false martyrs, that is, to those of the heretics, or those who formerly were heretics; for they are aliens from God.  Let those, therefore, who go after them, be anathema.

    Canon XXXVI. They who are of the priesthood, or of the clergy, shall not be magicians, enchanters, mathematicians, or astrologers; nor shall they make what are called amulets, which are chains for their own souls.  And those who wear such, we command to be cast out of the Church.

    This council also forbids the singing of privately composed songs and hymns in Church.

    Father Peter
  • Thanks Fr. Peter, can you give the reference for the not singing privately composed songs?
  • 3 guesses what Iwannes' favorite quote is from now on  ;D
  • [quote author=Father Peter link=topic=10591.msg129122#msg129122 date=1296505641]

    This council also forbids the singing of privately composed songs and hymns in Church.

    Father Peter

    can you PLEASE tell me where i can find the forbidding of songs.
  • Fr Peter,
    Correct me if I'm wrong. The Nicene Father Series places 5 councils between the Council of Nicaea and the Council of Constantinople mainly because of their chronological order. And it is true that the Eastern Orthodox see these 5 councils as ecumenical. But as far as I can tell, there is no reference from any Coptic writing or previous or present pope or bishop that these additional 5 councils were accepted by Alexandria. In fact, the opposite is true. Nearly all liturgical and historical text mention 3 ecumenical councils (Nicaea, Constantinople and Ephesus). So I don't think they have the same binding effects on us as they do to the Eastern Orthodox.

    Secondly, even if the canons were popular and well known, and their context probably conforms to the teachings of the Coptic Church, it does not necessarily mean these specific canons hold authority as canonical law prescribes. There is no official Coptic or Alexandrian canon that says "private hymns are forbidden". Obviously, the context of the Canon 39 of the Council of Laodicia was specifically talking about private hymns that known heretics have formed and spread to enforce their heresies. I don't think Canon 39 forbids Apostolic Churches, like the Coptic Church, to have a local musical and liturgical tradition or rite.

    I do think the canons on repentance and excommunication are common to all churches but I think the Coptic Church has its own local canons that repeat the same context. We are bound by local Coptic Canons, not the canons of these 5 extra councils.
  • Remenkemi, on the contrary these canons are all part of the canonical tradition of the Coptic Orthodox Church, and these councils are all referred to in the canonical Tradition of the Coptic Orthodox Church.

    You are right, this canon does not forbid the development of a local hymnology, but it does forbid the use of hymns composed by known heretics (and the Protestant faith IS heretical according to the teaching of the Orthodox Church), and the introduction of any hymns and songs which are not authorised by the Church.

    As far as my own studies suggest, this canon is received by the Coptic Orthodox Church together with those from many other important local synods held in the Church. It is not correct to consider that the Coptic Orthodox Church only accepts canons from the Three Ecumenical Councils. The canons of the Coptic Orthodox Church are clearly those of the wider Church, and they are received in many documents. Certainly these councils, and including Laodicea, have all been received by the Church of Alexandria. The idea that only canons produced by a local synod have application is not an accurate description of how Orthodox Tradition is formed and passed on.

    I can produce references to the use of these councils in the Coptic Church. Meinardus is very detailed. But I know other modern scholars who have produced similar lists. It is not likely that the Church of Alexandria would not have adopted all those canons which were already accepted by all other Orthodox Churches. Indeed the evidence shows that this was the case, and Alexandria adopted the canons produced elsewhere as being ecumenical, even as the Syrians and others accepted canons produced at Alexandria, such as those of St Timothy.

    We should not consider the Coptic Orthodox Church to be some unique instance of the Orthodox Church. It is but one local expression. Indeed there was no Coptic Orthodox Church for five or six hundred years or more. It was the Church of Alexandria, which was entirely one with all other Orthodox Churches. We are still the Church of Alexandria, and a great deal of our Tradition is shared from others. This includes many of the collections of canons. There were Syrian Popes of Alexandria, and bishops travelled widely and were well aware of the results of important gatherings of bishops. They did not, as far as any of my studies suggest, say 'I wasn't at that council so I will ignore what it says'. On the contrary collections of canons were passed from area to area as a means of diffusing the considered and prayerful decision which had been made.

    Which includes this one, forbidding the singing of heretical songs, of songs composed by heretics, and of songs composed by individuals that have not received authorisation by the hierarchy of the Church. It is a canon of the Orthodox Church from a council received as authoritative by the Coptic Orthodox Church. We must reflect on it.

    Father Peter
  • Remenkimi,

    I think you may be misunderstanding it (I'm guessing you think it is one of the councils considered by the Eastern Orthodox as Ecumenical). The council of Laodicea isn't ecumenical (The council of Laodicea isn't considered Ecumenical by the Eastern Orthodox either.)  Not all councils were Ecumenical. There were local councils often held that were binding, but weren't at the size of Ecumenical Councils (The council  of Laodicea had 30 members of the clergy, while Nicea had 318). The council of Laodicea took place between Nicea and Constantinople so it is before the split. Therefore it applies to the Coptic Church too.

    I also agree with Fr. Peter's interpretation of the Canon that it doesn't forbid the development of a local hymnology.
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